West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has praised the swift and selfless actions of an off–duty firefighter who saved the life of a young child trapped in a severe house fire.
Following reports of an ‘orange glow’ coming from a house on Farren Road, Firefighter Russ Jones rushed over to help, on Thursday 18 March.After making a call to WMFS Fire Control, Firefighter Jones was informed that the male occupant’s son was missing in the property. Hearing screams and recognising the severity of the fire on the first floor, Firefighter Jones concluded the young boy must be on the ground floor, so started looking through the windows to locate him.
After spotting a curtain moving in the front room, he looked closer to see the boy lying on the floor by the front room window. Smashing the window with a rock, Russ then quickly removed some of the glass before he leaned in and pulled the child to safety.
Firefighter Jones’s eight colleagues from Northfield Fire Station, five firefighters from Kings Norton and another five from Woodgate Valley attended the scene minutes later. Sixteen breathing apparatus and three hose reel jets were used to tackle the large fire which had broken out upstairs.
The boy was treated for minor injuries by West Midlands Ambulance colleagues and then transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Russ Jones, who has been a firefighter for West Midlands Fire Service for the last 24 years, said:
“As soon as I saw the fire and was told a young child missing in the property, I had to do something. The fire was too intense upstairs and because I could hear the screams I knew the boy had to be on the ground floor. Without my firefighting kit there it was too dangerous for me to enter the property, so I had to find a way of trying to locate the boy and rescue him. I’m just so grateful I did and that he is ok.
“I did what any of my colleagues would have done in the same situation. I’m a dad myself, so I’m just so grateful I managed to locate the boy and get them out of the property.”
Group Commander at West Midlands Fire Service, Marc Hudson, said:
“The swift and selfless actions of Firefighter Jones represent the very best of West Midlands Fire Service. We’re very proud of Russ for saving the young boy’s life, had he not acted so quickly and professionally, this incident may have ended in tragedy.
“I’d also like to commend the on-duty crews from Northfield, Kings Norton and Woodgate Valley who arrived in just over three minutes and worked extremely hard to extinguish the severe fire.”
Fire Investigators who attended the scene confirmed the fire was accidental.